In My Mind’s Eye…#325

Image result for Daydreaming Drawing

Fiction-Poetry-Prose

In My Mind’s Eye

The world is shut-down, fear has driven us inside. 

Every now and again, one must live within their

imagination.  Sometimes, I escape to the past, to a

time where childhood was safe and the world was

not so badly damaged. It is spring, planting time,

there are wide freshly plowed fields and green grass.

Oh, this is my dreamland. 

Black-winged-swallows float upon a warm breeze;

they bath at the edge of a glittering pond; then turn

their dark eyes toward the heavens where they

will soon be suspended in the clean air.  There

are two old mules pulling an ancient plow, behind

it worn leather hands holding the reins gently

urging them along.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

I can see Flint Creek, red dirt banks bright in

the sunshine.  It is there that I swim and let my

childlike imagination run wild; I brush away the

cotton-mouth that does not want to do me harm. 

It’s looking for that sunny place where it can be

warm.  Down the road on weather warn porch sits

my grandmother; she reads her bible, darns socks

and clothes that are way too worn to wear.  I did not

know that we are penniless poor sharecroppers, I

am happy.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

I have enough memories to fill my shut-in –world

to the brim, I carefully place my daddy there; this

imaginary world is one without a care.  My daddy

with his gypsy blood wants to run from it all; I will

not let him fall.  He stays for me.  He stops for his

meal; he will have no fears; while letting a blackbird

picks food from his hand.  He twirls the cold biscuit

into the air; its caught and fly’s away.  My daddy

dreams that a spark from heaven will someday fall

and take him far-far away from it all.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

But what-I dream!  I live in the past as I continue

to be a prisoner within these walls, and I know

that two-hundred years from now it will not

matter at all.  Imagination is an art, you are

here and then you are gone; thus I return to that

space in time where most is now unknown.  A

little church with no bell tower, sweet voices

floating through the windows.  Its yard marked

with stones, I recognize the names upon them,

it’s sad that they are all gone.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

Our barnyard and its fields change from time-to-time,

at this moment it’s filled with a few treasured souls. 

There’s Big Red my daddy’s red roan, and

Soapsticks the aged mule, his partner Lu Lu Bell

has sadly passed on.  The pens are filled with

chickens and hogs, I had named them all.  Then

comes the “Killing Time”, those pens held our

food, but I refused to eat one bite, to eat Fat Sam

or Clem, or Chick Lady on Sunday’s would have

been cruel.

Oh, this is my dreamland.

Yes, in today’s world when we must be shut-in

with four walls that sometimes does not feel like

home.  I have to take my imagination backwards

to a time when freedom was not gone.  To smell

the pines, eating figs from a tree; roaming through

the county side now wishing my daydream would

not end.  A time of joy, with little sadness or despair,

there was nothing to fear; childhood was an

enchanted time; the world today pales to that long

ago time that was only mine.

Oh this is my dreamland.

Born in the days when life was fresh and clear,

still nurturing conquerable hope.  But, now we

fly through a path that was to be; I still believe

in hope, it is with hope that we win.  In my

imagination. Youth finally ends, it fades, and

growing old one will see and hear warm

greetings and smiles.  If it were not for imagination,

I would surely die.

Oh, this is my dreamland.



©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Bottomless Backwaters…#324

Image result for depression bottomless water

Bottomless Backwaters…

Sometimes life is like a boulder

sliding down a mountain side

after a storm, spiraling out of

control into the depths of

depression.  

Tumbling downward, there

is no need to cry out.  No

one will hear the silent cries

that come from within,

falling into a mass despair.   

Hopelessness, a sensation

that produces profound

effects that only death can

remove.   Weeping bitter

tears are of no use, no one

cares

There is nothing left but

false reality, a silent killer,

a depression that leaves its

victim decaying in the

bottomless backwaters of the mind.

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

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Black Feathered Angels…#323

Black Feathered Angels

Old memories, new memories,

memories last for a lifetime.    

Unstinted buried deep hidden

from the surface of the mind. 

As I sit on steps where paint is

peeling and rotting I have but

one thought.  Childhood is dead.

Some memories refuse to stay

buried, I see a small country

church, a chorus of crows; the

splashing sounds of a brook

running through Birch trees.

The wind caressing the

colossal row of Oaks in the

nearby field.

Death, departing the small

weathered house of worship,

a wagon pulled by six black

horses, and a manifestation

of black feathered angels.  A

sad memory, a heart has been

silenced, and a rocker on a

porch stilled.  Everyone we

love soon leaves us. 

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by Author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com:

1.            Fragments of Time

2.            A Passage into Madness

3.            Asterial Thoughts

4.            A Sachet of Poetry

5.            Rutted Roads

6.            Rhythm Rhyme and Thoughts

7.            Reflections of Poetry

8.            Beyond the Voices

9.            Honeysuckle Memories

10.          Echoing Images from the Soul

11.          A Journey into the Soul

Bitter Recollection…#322

Image result for bitter recollection images

Bitter Recollection…

A crystal moon,

a frozen branch

waving outside a

window, a fire, ash

blowing in the air,

a charred log;

memories, extensive

and angry, like a

paper chain flowing

in the wind of life. 

Remember, the day,

the hour, each day, each

hour, destiny, insistently

climbing, seeking,

nothing in life is forgotten.

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree 

The poem was created from an excerpt from a novella rough draft called “Memories”.

Bitter recollection, the crystal moon glowing nestled in a bed of shining stars.  A frozen branch beating against the ice covered windowpane.  A fire now a bed of black ash being pulled up the chimney into the night air.  Memories come and go some widespread, some angry, linked together like a paper chain trailing behind me in life.  I remember the day, hour, was it my destiny?  I reach for tomorrow, guarding my life’s memories; I do not want to forget.




#Bitterness

#Poem

Oh Day of Weeping…#321

Oh Day of Weeping

One day the earth will evaporate into the universe,

oh what a painful day.  Where will the judge sit in

all his excellence and exquisiteness, determining a

horror, which no one will escape? 

Will you hear the trumpets in hell, or will you get

an invitation to Heaven?  Death and nature trembling

together, waking to wild winds filled with deadly

shrouds.  No more romances, no more extenuating

circumstances. 

The King, will make decisions as to who will come

home.  His magnificence amazes, as before him

the hot and dirty pits of hell that rages. 

Is it too late to sing his praises?  He is the one who

decides the death blows, or pardons.   Seek peace

follow him no matter how tired you may be; it is

he that will judge you on your prejudices. 

Are you guilty, as you gaze into the pits of hell,

pedophile, murderer, thief or whore, is it too late

to change your thoughtless ways, judgment day

is here, pray, pray, pray.  Will you dismiss the

punishment of hell? 

Prone and pleading, when your death is ignited

with the flames of hell, will you then ask to be

saved?  Oh day of weeping, men and women come

forth, do not continue to be selfish and cruel. 

Now is the time to pray, shout out to the land and

sea, please God spare me. 

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Books by Author at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com:

  1. Fragments of Time
  2. A Passage into Madness
  3. Asterial Thoughts
  4. A Sachet of Poetry
  5. Rutted Roads
  6. Rhythm Rhyme and Thoughts
  7. Reflections of Poetry
  8. Beyond the Voices
  9. Honeysuckle Memories
  10. Echoing Images from the Soul
  11. A Journey into the Soul

Southern Chattels and the Birth of the Cotton Fields…#320

Alabama 1850 – Elizabeth Ann Johnson-Murphree

Southern Chattels and Birth of the Cotton Fields…

Upon the waves of a tranquil sapphire ocean sails

a vessel from hell, the purity of white foam

bellowing in the warm wind gave no warning of

what lay within its dark belly.

Fear of the unknown soon turned into panic for

the confine souls taken from where God intended

them to be.  Their freedom imprison by rustic chains. 

Their blood spilled on the land they once loved.

Greed and ignorance of unyielding traders brought

pain and profit from the gentle forest, spring waters,

and warm earth.  Marched for days without food or

water, not knowing their fate.  Different tongues

melded among the scared, the innocent.

Swathed in tar pitch to cover the gnashed bodies. 

Clothing to cover their purity, only to be handled

like the beast of burdens they would soon become.

Sold at the auction block to the highest bidder,

speaking words that they did not understand. 

Marched in chains to the land of their buyers.

High upon his noble steed the taskmasters whip

reached its mark while the plow buried itself deep

within the rich red southern soil.  Without food,

water, or rest, toiling from daylight to dark to bring

in the “Masters” crops.

Living in conditions worse than the animals of the

fields, cold, unbound, with no place to run.  The

lands of their ancestors lay unknown in a place that

would soon be forgotten.  What was all of it for,

the Gods, no!

The sun and rain nourishes without judgment, both

the just, and the unjust, the vessel from hell has since

vanished; blood and sweat planted a seed in earth’s

womb and she gives birth to the white man’s gold called

“cotton”.

Copyright©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

AUTHORS NOTE:  I wrote this poem over the past several weeks.  Politics, rallies and violence from the white people has covered a once proud nation.  Somewhere along the way during this political time we have lost sight of other drastic problems in our nation.  The BLM movement.  Have we learned nothing as a nation?  The trials of the Black people did not end with the Civil War and the freedom they was given.  There was no justice then and there is no justice now.  These proud people were taken against their will, dropped into misery by the white southern land owners.  They were not allowed to read or write they had to live as “slaves”.  This was a problem when the War ended slavery, many land owners cruelly tossed the black people off their land.  They did not know what to do, no education, no jobs, no homes.  When the white man saw them seemingly without purpose walking up and down roads, it was not that they were lost; no, they were looking for family that had been taken from them.  With the presidential election over, with a pandemic possibly under control, let’s not forget that “BLACK LIVES STILL MATTER”.  Let’s not forget the “whiteness” of our skin and the privilege that comes with it.  We must always remember, lest we forget the horrors of the past.  We are all responsible, we all need to focus on the moment and do what we can to make the lives of a great people better.

Big Willie…#319

Artwork – Elizabeth Ann Johnson Murphree

Big Willie…

When days get bad within my mind,

I travel back to another time.  The

fog clears, the memory unfolds to a

gentle soul, a man among men.

I was only a child but he was my friend.

He was child of a slave woman, he was

The Masters son. 

Everyone called him Big Willie, though

when I knew him he had shriveled with

old age, a religious man, he could read

the bible without ever turning a page.

Big Willie looked upon life steadily, he

felt alive and whole, he road an old

rusty bicycle wherever he would go. 

He lived in a little house on my daddy’s

land, they respected each other, man

to man.

We buried Big Willie one cold gloomy

day, I did not understand why my best

friend had to go away.  Daddy placed a

marker upon his grave, when he bought

it he looked at me asking besides his

name what should it say.

An imaginary child even in those days, of

my childhood friend I knew exactly what I

wanted the marker to display.

IN HIS YOUTH HE WAS NEITHER DULL NOR

WILD, HE WAS KNOW AS BIG WILLIE THE

MASTERS CHILD.”

©2012.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Lands afar…#318

Image result for land afar images

(Fiction Poetry)

Lands afar…

Why does the mind’s eye not see the future?

Does a fog of mystery covering our soul’s

intentionally obscure visions of tomorrow?

I am aware of the squirrels rustling the dead

leaves beneath the thorny rose bush in the

light of the moon?  Cold and exposed, patiently

waiting for the season of bloom.

My garden once alive lies still, a hint of

summers perfume lingers in the fall air.  Now

cradled in the arms of Mother Earth, waiting

for its new birth.

I think of the now, disease and war a threat to

fallow soil, will the power of war come to us

once more?  Would the human intellect be able

to cope with the naked landscape of truth?

Only in lucid dreams do I find tomorrow, a golden

glow of the future.  The seasons will change, Will

I see the orange lilies show their tinted face; the

snowball bush bud; will they all still know me.

Only the spirit knows the endless land beyond

tomorrow, will I no longer be?  A new season, new

life, one where choices can be made, a prisoner to

the past, or will I be free.

Spikes of the moon now fall upon the coatless oak

tree; nothing has ever belonged to me, nature, and

my life.  I will be gone I will be free; I will be in the world afar.

Perfection with a new birth

Tranquility with a new birth

Infinity comes with a new birth

Why is the mind’s eye blind to the acceptance of

just living for today?    

Copyright©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Women’s History Month and Aging…#317

What is it to Grow Old?

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As many of you know, I have been fighting a problem that my doctors cannot diagnose; they sent me home after every test known to man or woman.  At the beginning I was walking about six miles a day; at the end of the hospital stay, I was walking with assistance walker, now a cane.  The weakness holds to me like a leach.  After a hospital stay, I have been undergoing therapy at home; I am no better today than my first day home.

This weakness is interfering in my life!  Therapy takes up most of my days; no less than four hours a day, with little progress.  I take care of the needs of my new puppy and myself, there is no energy for anything else.  Simple household chores can be monumental; as are the self care needs.  The challenge that I face daily is the need to work on my writing and painting projects.  That time is limited the reason, no energy which brings me to what I plan to discuss in this post, women and depression.  The Covid affects older adults, twice as many women over men experience depression.  Nonetheless, geriatric depression added onto medical conditions and certain disabilities can be life threatening.  Depression can be misdiagnosis, as it mimics normal age related issues.

Depression in the older adults can reduce their quality of life, and it increases risk of suicide.  There is no single cause of depression in any age group. Some research indicates that there could be a genetic link to the disease. However, biological, social, and psychological factors all play a role in depression in older adults.

If you’re experiencing depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts, it’s important to get help. With the right interventions, depression is treatable, and suicide is preventable.  Learn to recognize the symptoms’ of depression; if you have an elderly relative talk to them about the possibility of being depressed.

I myself suffer from depression, I have always felt that creative people are all depressed in some way; it derives from our need to create, artist, writers.  My symptoms were lack of interest, unable to sleep, feelings of hopelessness, a strange sadness; feelings of no quality of life.

I share t his with you as there may be others of all ages that are living under a dark cloud of depression.  Try to understand your feelings and discuss it with your physician, and always remember that you are not alone.

Below is a piece  that I have written/created  during these dark days, it helps to continue to create.  I am fine; each day brings renewed hope for a long and bright future.

Image result for growing old images

Watching the body lose its shape, the eyes no longer sparkle, now small orbs in a wrinkled face.  Strength disappears, limbs grow stiff, and every function less accurate and every fiber of  being frail and overwrought with life. Life is not what in our youth we dreamed it would be!  The aging was not to be mellow and soft as the sunsets glow, these golden day’s  decline with a hurried speed.  To see the world from a pinnacle with creative eyes, a heart deeply moved.  Yet we mourn to feel and see the past, the years that are gone forever. Being old is to spend long days not once believing that we were ever young.  Confined in the cold prison of living day to day with weary pain. It is to suffer, being only half of what we use to be; feeble are many who are hidden away.  Remembrance gone, no emotion, no life. This is the last stage of life, frozen within ourselves, soon to be an empty ghost; whom do we blame? We blame no one, no regrets, being old is a privilege. 

©2021.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree

Bangles and Colorful Cloth for Ma…#316

Image result for Autumn Cemetery

Bangles and Colorful Cloth for Ma…

“Repost – Dedicated to my Great-Grandmother”

When I was born, you were a young ninety-years old,

your hair pulled tight at the nap of your neck, still

black and bold.  At night, you let it down to braid before

you went to bed; it almost fell to the floor; at first I would

watch in silence from a crack in the door. 

The night you caught me I was six, you called me into the

room…asking that I bring you a single broomstick. 

I quickly plucked it from mother’s broom, and rushed

back into the dimly lamp lit room.  You showed me how to

break it into small pieces; when I looked bewildered your smile

showed all of your dark wrinkles and creases. 

It was then that my eyes opened wide as you put the stick right

through the lob of your ears, its magic I thought; but this is my

Great-grandmother I have nothing to fear.  As a child, I did not

realize that there was a hole, because when I would touch the

bangles on her ears, she would quickly scold.

Just like the time when I tried to sneak a peek at her button up

shoes by raising the hem of her long dress, she did not have on

shoes, there were moccasins on those tiny feet…who would have

guessed.  Yes, I was a child without a care, and I spent many

hours sitting at the foot of her old rocking chair.

I never tire of the stories she would tell, sometimes we cried together

and now I can say, as a child she lived in a white man’s world, she

called it “hell”.  Her parents had walked on the “Trail of Tears”, proud

and strong, with every step wondering where they had gone wrong.

She help raise me and she taught me “The Way”.  When her mind begins

to wander in those later years, I was sad when she would tell her stories

that she only remembered the bad.  This grand old lady dressed in bangles

and cloths of many colors, long braids and black hair; a great-grandmother

like no other.

She died a few days before her birthday; she would have been one-hundred

and five.  My daddy said, Ma as we called her would have scolded you saying

 don’t you ever cry.  I was fifteen-year old and the world was bright and

colorful with the artwork of fall, a befitting day to bury a  beautiful and

proud Chickasaw. 

[Repost]

Copyright©2012.elizabethannjohnsonmurphree